All start with integrity

I read with great interest the letter from Mr. Paul Gargano (Cayman Compass Monday, 8 April ‘Vote to right wrongs’).

This linguistic tour-de-force implied that the Cayman Islands has historically voted in Members of the Legislative Assembly who lacked integrity and dedication and repeatedly “got it wrong”, hence the title of his letter.

As a former adviser the British Government on industry matters and as a former chairman of the Conservative Party in South East England, I have some experience in working with politicians and I can, without hesitation, say that every one of them start their political careers full of integrity, commitment and a determination to “do the right thing”.

I have no reason to believe those who stand for office in this beautiful country we call home, are any different. The inevitable pressures of government, the continual need to make choices, the difficulties of balancing a budget and making unpopular judgements while at the same time attempting to maintain an “electability factor” for the next election, somehow appear, on the surface at least, to erode some of these fundamental values over time. This is an inevitability of governing. Politicians will not get it right every time and not everyone will like the decisions they make; but that is politics.

Rather than focus on the character of those standing for office, when integrity, honesty, dedication and commitment should all be taken for granted, perhaps we should be debating what the candidates stand for.

What policies will they implement if elected? How will they grow the economy? How will they maintain the natural beauty of these glorious Islands while at the same time investing in our tourist industry?

Mr. Gargano’s letter has initiated an interesting debate, which, I hope, can be developed to the point where this country has the quality of elected members and the effective Legislative Assembly it fully deserves.

Harry Tee

Cayman Kai

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